Oct 19, 2014
At the moment every conversation seems to be about autumn. Don’t get me wrong, I love the autumn months, they are my favorite of the year but this year the weather changed so suddenly in the UK that my body still seems to be hankering after just a little more sunshine to warm my bones whilst I dig at the allotment.
The thing about summer for me is the vibrant colour of all the salad vegetables….cool crisp green lettuce and cucumber, a riot of coloured tomatoes and the deep purple hue of beetroot. Goodness I just love beetroot, the sharp contrast it gives salads, cutting through the smoky richness of a piece of smoked mackerel or a good strong cheddar.
As a child we used to have beetroot sandwiches which were all the better for the soggy bread soaked in the purple vinegar and the memory of beetroot juice running into the melted butter of steaming new potatoes has me salivating!
This is my first year trying my hand at pickling. I had no idea that pickling my own beetroot would make such a difference to the finished article. But it does.
The beetroot I made a couple of months ago, pictured here in all their sparkly purple glory, are almost finished. Panic was setting in until I discovered that even in October its not too late to find beetroot in our local farmers market. Hopefully you will be able to find some too. I encourage you to give it a go. It is easy peasy and the flavor returns are huge for little effort. Just imagine serving your own delicious pickled beets on Boxing Day with cold meats and jacket spuds.
The addition of cinnamon to the picking liquid gives a warmth to the beetroots without being overpowering. If you are not keen on cinnamon then omit it. There is currently a trend for chilli infused beetroot so if you want to go this route then add some chilli flakes to the pickling liquid. You can taste the liquid prior to filling your jars so experiment away
I recon the world is a better place for the humble pickled beetroot...here’s how
I used one bunch – 3 large or 4/5 medium beetroots.
Trim leaves and scrub beetroots clean.
Place on a baking tray and cover with foil or wrap individually in foil.
Bake in the oven at 180 C for approx. 1 to 1.5 hours depending on size of the beets.
Tip: The beets are cooked when a knife will easily slide into the center of the beet.
The Pickling Liquid:
300ml malt vinegar
150 ml water
½ cup of sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 mins
Strain into a measuring jug.
Once the beetroots are cooked, leave to cool for ten minutes until you can handle them. Gently pull the skin off and slice into 0.5 cm rounds.
Place in sterilized jars and cover in the picking liquid.
Put the lids on the jars and turn them upside down to bring all the air to the surface. Carefully turn the right way up and tap the side of the glass jar to encourage and stray air bubbles to the surface. Top up with a little more liquid if desired and check for bubbles.
Ready to eat within 2 weeks.
Will keep for years unopened.
Always make sure you use a clean fork to get the slices out of the jar and once opened ensure that the remaining sliced beetroots are always covered with the pickling liquid.
There is no need to refrigerate.